If you try to keep yourself scheduled like clockwork with your calendar and add work reminders and life commitments all in one place, it can start to add up to the point where it all feels overwhelming. Keep optional events separate, though, and you'll clear a lot of clutter. Image via The Muse.
Over on The Muse, writer Caroline Liu suggests keeping a separate calendar just for the optional stuff in your life, whether it's the networking event you're thinking about attending or a movie you want to watch. She uses it like an on-off switch when life or work are becoming too overwhelming:
Here's how it works: Put anything that isn't mandatory on this calendar. In my life, that includes professional events, enrichment programs, local activities, and leisurely TV watching, too. These are events that, ideally, I'll be able to fit in, but they're the first to go when I'm feeling stressed.
Then when you have too much going on, you clearly know which of your intended events you can just ignore, and you won't feel guilty about deleting reminders if you've already decided its optional. It's a simple trick that can dramatically reduce the amount of clutter on your calendar.